Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bike Haters?

In the last two weeks I feel like there has been an outpouring of news about really horrible tension between bicyclists and the rest of the world, mostly motorists, police, and the news media. First there was news of a really terrible road-rage incident between cyclists and a motorist on Mandeville Canyon Road in Brentwood that resulted in some serious injuries. Then there was news about "formal discussions" between the cycling community and LA city governance to address the clearly growing tension between motorists and cyclists. I know I have been away for awhile, but I had no idea that tensions were getting that bad. And then, there was news of two really horrible incidents involving Critical Mass rides,* one in Seattle and the other in involving a rookie officer and cyclist in NYC (which, incidentally, became a sensation on YouTube). This hate has been so strong that I have been specifically avoiding talking about it and instead forward emails to all of my friends with the bad news. This is no way for me to behave, but I have been filled with so much anger about the situation (and the odd press bias against the cyclists involved) that all that was coming out was a bunch of rage-filled spew. Who wants to read that?!

I think that bike community is finally starting to deal with all of this tension. See Exhibit A, my new favorite explanation for all the anti-bike bias and hatred. We need more than that opinion circulating out there, but seriously people, what on earth is going on? In other venues I have been calling for more policy solutions. I don't know how ready we as a society are to accept the fact that our bike numbers are going up. But seriously, we are going to have to deal with it.

* For the record, I do not frequent Critical Mass events in the LA area, mostly because the anarchist spirit is a little much for my taste. I do, however, firmly believe in the right for cyclists to ride in groups. That is all.

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